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March 26, 2009 / jimnv

Legislative Lull, Governor’s BS and PERS Legislation

Right now, there is a lull in overt fighting at the Legislature because they are busy working through the agency budgets ahead of  the Economic Forum projections expected on May 1st. From that point the Legislature will know how much revenue to expect and can build a budget from that.  Expect the fighting to early May!

True to form, the Governor’s Legislative representatives couldn’t stop slinging the bull while they justified big pay increases for staff while regular state employee salaries are frozen. Hypocrisy aside, he can legally raise salaries so long as he doesn’t overspend his office’s budgeted amount. Will the Legislature “do anything” about the Governor’s increases? Not likely.

By the way, LCB employees (and judges) do quite well, salary-wise. The Reno Gazette Journal has a public employee database you can look at.

Here is some information about bills the Nevada PERS is following based. I based the information on their March 2009 on-line document and  added links to specific bills for more information:

AB 92 (BDR #400) – Requested by the Nevada Supreme Court – Revises the provisions governing benefits of a retired justice or judge. The Board has adopted a neutral position on Sections 1-8 of this bill, so long as the costs associated with the benefit modifications to the Judicial Retirement System are recognized and funded.

AB 198 (BDR #29) – Requested by Assemblyman Segerblom – Makes certain changes concerning the Public Employees’ Retirement System. This bill creates the Deferred Savings Option Program within the Public Employees’ Retirement System. This bill was introduced on February 19, 2009 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Government Affairs.

AB 282 (BDR #23-633) – Requested by Assembly Minority Leader – Revises provisions relating to the Public Employees’ Retirement System. This bill amends the eligibility requirements for retirement of certain members of the System whose effective date of membership is on or after July 1, 2009; and requires a portion of the unrestricted balance in the State General Fund at the end of each biennium be deposited in PERS under certain circumstances.

AB 356 (BDR #23-1081) – Requested by Assemblyman Ohrenschall – Revises provisions relating to the Public Employees’ Retirement System. This bill provides that a person may present certain evidence to the PERS Board to be named a survivor beneficiary or additional payee of a deceased member who has not designated a survivor beneficiary or additional payee on a form provided by the System.

AB 374 (BDR #174) – Requested by Assemblywoman McClain – Revises provisions concerning the Public Employees’ Retirement System. This bill revises provisions governing the employment of retired public employees with public employers under the System.

AB 434 (BDR #23-206) – Requested by Assemblyman Cobb – Provides for use of 401(k) plans by state employees. This bill creates the Public Employees’ Retirement Management Board; requires this Board to establish a defined contribution retirement plan for public employees; requires new public employees to participate in the retirement plan; and provides forfeiture of public employee retirement benefits if the employee is convicted of certain crimes.

AB 440 (BDR #23-132) – Requested by Assemblyman Hardy – Revises provisions governing the reemployment of certain retired persons under the Public Employees’ Retirement System. This bill repeals the prospective expiration of provisions governing the reemployment of certain retired public employees who are hired to fill positions for which there is a critical labor shortage; prohibits such employees from reenrolling in PERS; and limits the compensation and certain benefits paid to such employees.

AB 463 (BDR #23-1057) – Requested by Assemblywoman Smith – Restricts a department, division or other agency of this State or a local government from employing a person as a consultant. This bill relates to governmental administration; restricts a department, division or other agency of this State or a local government from employing a person as a consultant; and requires a school district to submit to the Interim Finance Committee a report concerning each consultant employed by the school district.

SB 41 (BDR #308) – Requested by PERS – Revises certain administrative provisions and provides clarification of choices within the Judicial Retirement System. This bill contains technical language changes for PERS and the JRS requested by the Retirement Board.

SB 71 (BDR #325) – Requested by the Department of Veterans Affairs – Revises provision relation to veterans. The Board has adopted a position supporting Sections 18 through 20 which allows veterans to purchase service for military time.

SB 81 (BDR #34-15) – Requested by Senator Cegavske – Establishes the Special Needs Scholarship Program. This bill allows private schools to participate in the scholarship program. Section 40 of this bill amends NRS 286.070 to exclude a private school from the definition of “public employer”. Under NRS 286.070 private schools do not fall under the definition of “public employer” therefore, an amendment is unnecessary and could create confusion as to the definition of “public employer”.

SB 174 (BDR #23-768) – Requested by Senator McGinness – Exempts certain retired public employees who are serving as volunteer firefighters from certain consequences of reemployment with a public employer.

SB 284 (BDR #23-687) – Requested by Senator Townsend – Exempts certain retired public officers and employees from disqualification for retirement allowances for reemployment with a public employer under PERS.

Source: PERS March 2009 State Legislation document

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